How to Roll Coins: A Guide for Literal Idiots


I Roll Coins and So Can You!!

I’ll get to the instructions on how to roll coins in a minute.

A friend of mine (and/or this guy) forwarded me a personal finance article about “How to Write a Check”. For us Canadians, that’s “How to Write a Cheque”. It’s exactly the kind of painful Trent Hamm-esque article you’d expect based on the title.

If this kind of pedantic, nauseatingly-detailed minutiae is what passes for quality content nowadays and merits nearly 50 comments, then it’s clear I’ve been ‘doing it wrong’ as a blogger. I should:

  1. patronize you all with similarly awful material;
  2. join the Yakezie challenge; and
  3. adopt the vapid, self-promotional comment style exhibited by the commenters on the above-mentioned post.

To embark on my journey toward achieving the excellence embodied by goal #1, I’d like to help the dumbest among you achieve a new level of mediocrity. In my experience (I’ve worked at two separate financial institutions), everybody knows how to write a cheque. Real cheque problems involve people trying to deposit post-dated cheques or trying to deposit cheques with another person’s name into their personal account (e.g. a spouse; we’re not talking fraud or anything). What people really need to learn is how to roll coins. And that brings us to:

How to Roll Coins: A Guide for Literal Idiots

First, you need to decide whether you actually want to go to the effort of rolling your coins yourself, or if you want to use a machine that does it for you. I’ve heard some banks in Canada now have free coin rolling machines, but I am no longer researching my articles (this will help me ensure my posts are devoid of insight). This guide only covers “rolling your coins yourself“. If you want to use a machine, please return to Google.




Identify the denomination or denominations of coins that you want to roll.

Determine whether you will use plastic or paper rollers. Plastic rollers are awful. They are a nightmare and do not work. But since I’m writing a useless article, I don’t want to provide an “opinion” based on my “experience”. No, every viewpoint is equally valid in my subjective, spineless, post-modern blogger reality.

Do you already have rollers? If not, you’ll need to obtain coin rolls in order to roll coins. Where? Boy, I could write a whole other article.

Separate the coins by their respective denominations. For reference:

  • Pennies go into the pile for pennies.
  • Nickels go into the pile for nickels.
  • Dimes go into the pile for dimes.
  • Quarters go into the pile for quarters.

Next, you need to count the coins. If you read the “How to Write a Check” article and thought it was informative, you probably shouldn’t attempt counting by twos. Just patiently select each coin, count it, and put it into the roll. Here’s a heavily pixelated diagram to show you how to place each type of coin into each type of roll:

Roll coins like this

How many coins go into each roll?

  • Pennies – 50 pennies
  • Nickels – 40 nickels
  • Dimes – 50 dimes
  • Quarters – 40 quarters

Don’t forget to empty each roll and recount the coins several times, especially the pennies, to ensure accuracy and to temporarily satiate your crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

There you have it. You know nothing more than you did when you started reading this article, but I successfully patronized you for a few minutes. And when some complete idiot happens to Google “how to roll coins” and ends up at this SEO-optimized pile-of-garbage, I will use that person’s stupidity to justify my publication of articles that could only be useful to people enrolled in a Special Education program.

Check back tomorrow for a guide on how to interact with a cashier. We’ll delve deeper into the same topic the next day when we discuss how to pay for a purchase with a credit card!

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21 Comments… Share your views

  1. Joe, I hate to tell you … but this is a little bit too advanced. Let’s take a few steps back. First post: how to put your pants on. [Take-away message: one leg at a time.] Second: how to tie your shoelaces. [Take-away message: go with Velcro.] And so on. Dealing with currency is for the advanced class.

    You can thank me for my brilliant comment later.

  2. Finally! An article that speaks to MY needs!! Although I stopped rolling my coins several months ago as I would get them confused with my chocolate ones. Can you also teach me how to roll my chocolate loonies and toonies?

  3. I’m hopelessly confused! I have a collection of subway tokens and dollar coins and they don’t fit in the other slots! Can you please follow up with a part 2?

  4. But it’s prettier when you mix them Joe! :( Hang on… which ones are the nickels again? Maybe you should have written an article on identifying coin denominations first. :S

  5. Why would I roll my own coins when I can take them to a Coin Star machine for a measly 11.9% fee?

    • EXACTLY!! I mean, imagine what you can do with that 20 minutes saved. I’m going to use that 20 minutes to plan my next extremely expensive trip to an exotic or European destination. Sure, I may be in $30,000 worth of debt, but you can’t lord that over me! In my bizarre form of relativism, only I can insult you because you lead a boring life that you’ll regret because you didn’t go into debt to travel like me!! YOLO right!?! TEEHEE

  6. I’ve been wanting to fill a big wine carboy(23 liter jug) with coins and bring the whole thing to the bank and let them count it… I’ll let you know how that goes in a few years…

    • lol *death stare*

      Just be forewarned that an angry teller could pull out the federal Currency Act (1985) which imposes certain limits:

      (a) forty dollars if the denomination is two dollars or greater but does not exceed ten dollars;
      (b) twenty-five dollars if the denomination is one dollar;
      (c) ten dollars if the denomination is ten cents or greater but less than one dollar;
      (d) five dollars if the denomination is five cents; and
      (e) twenty-five cents if the denomination is one cent.

  7. This is funny for a number of reasons, but a charity I work with just switched banks because the old one refused to take rolled coins. They said we did not roll them correctly! We actually have an event called “Pennies for Pets” where people bring us their change. We usually take in around $600 in coins. I need to show them this post so we won’t get in trouble with the bank again!

  8. Whoa whoa whoa… You’re telling me that there are 2 different “containers” for coins? Also, I just realized what the machine at my grocery store. I’m supposed to collect all my change after I dump them in there.


    PS. this made my morning.

    • Thanks. I am so tired of seeing absolute crap on personal finance blogs. If you’re in with the Yakezie BS you’ll get lots of meaningless comments and, presumably, a decent amount of traffic (although traffic and comments don’t always correlate). But the author is just wasting his time and the time of readers by writing it.

  9. Well, I feel a little bit embarrassed that I had to teach my oldest kid how to write a cheque about 5 years ago – I think he’s about your age. I thought it was kind of obvious but apparently not. But then I still have to get the 11 y.o. to switch over to the Wii for me too. :-(

  10. To be fair to the article about how to write a cheque, I’m 27 and never wrote a cheque in my life before I came to the USA a year ago, and maybe had cashed 1 or 2 cheques in my lifetime. Always paid for and got paid electronically or occasionally in cash. When I came to the USA, all of a sudden everyone wants cheques, my landlord, the electricity provider, the DMV would ONLY accept cheques, I was like “wtf, who even writes cheques let alone uses it as their only form of payment”. So yeah, I had to look up one of those “how to write cheques for retards” to check if there was any conventions I didn’t know about.

    I also never had a problem with coins littering my house until I came to the US with your silly little worthless pennies, lol, you can’t even use them in bloody vending machines.

    • I assume you didn’t go to the US from Canada because we use a good number of cheques here, too (particularly government monopolies for some reason).

      • Nah, came from down under. People do use cheques back home, don’t want to give the impression that we are cheque-less, but it’s far less common and there’s almost always another more simple option so I never had the need in my lifetime to write one and have only ever received a couple of them.

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